For 4 years in a row, director Magnus Rye have been let loose on a project with no boundaries. No client telling him what to do, no agency forcing their opinions on us and no broadcaster putting their foot down. The Øya-promos has been a fantastic opportunity to test out ideas, and for me to gain competence technically. This year I wanted to do the Red Epic, and Magnus wanted to really push what we could to with 3d.
This year, my spring schedule was more hectic than usual, so I was not able to take part in the pre-production as I have done in the past. A couple of location scouts was the only thing aside from storyboarding I was able to do. It was clear from the start that we wanted to do long takes, the films shouldn’t be more than 3-4 epic pictures, something which we havnt done too much of before. So, planning these shots carefully and getting everyone to deliver at the same time was crucial.
Director Magnus Rye and lighting chief Jørgen Werner
The Øya-promos are basically pro-bono gigs, the entire crew working for Øya tickets only. And as it turns out, its actually one of the few ways to get an Øyaticket after they are sold out. We now have crew calling up and wanting to work on our shoot, because the Øyafestival is selling tickets like crazy. But most of the crew is our steady gang of talented people we have used before. DoP/Focus puller Espen Gulbrandsen came in with his RED Epic and Ultraprimes glass and crane operator Erling Andresen joined the team with a felixcrane from moviebird.no. 120 fps and that crane really saved our ass on the dog part of the shoot, which turned into an insanely hectic day on set. I guess they’re right. ABC, Animals, Boats and Children, don’t do it..
Fencing in the dogs!
We had the dogs below a highway in Oslo for half a day. We needed to fence of a really large area before the owner could release them. And when he did, we understood why. These racing bred dogs react purely on instinct, regardless of what the owner tries to instruct them to do. They ran around, constantly searching for exits, and constantly not being in frame. But with the help of a female dog (!) and lots of lifting, we finally got our shots. The 4 shots this film is built up from, is the 4 takes that were good. In 25fps, this film would have been a brief affair.
The horse was another story entirely. The team met up just north of Oslo on a bright sunny spring morning. I hadn’t had a chance to check up on the horse before the shot, but they said it had worked in films before. And this horse was a true worker. If it had its owner close by with some hay, even 20 kids screaming of camera couldn’t scare it out of frame. It stood still when it needed to, and looked around when we wanted it to. And thank god it was white. In that weather, a black horse would have been difficult to light. With a reflector 🙂
Professional horse on set!
The visual effects guys over at Øyedrops were given the clean edit, and they went into a tracking/matchmoving frenzy with our r3d files. They were really bold in advance, not wanting any tracking markers. We weren’t really sure what kind of gfx we wanted when we shot this, so It was difficult to plan for everything in camera. But they managed to track everything down, and the end result speaks for itself. Grading and online was done by colorist Dr. Dylan Hopkin in collaboration with myself and Magnus, and I think we really went for something outside of the box. Hot-armageddon look on the Wolves.
Looking into the monitor of the Epic
Theres is a third film coming out hopefully within 2 weeks, which will feature these two films together with some other epic setups we have from the days of shooting in May. Stay tuned!